Do you know how hard it is to spell the word Vinaigrette? Well I learned that this week while creating this apple cranberry salad and I misspelled it in the video a few times, oops. So if you have been following me for any period of time, salads are one thing you don't see posted often.
I feel like I have been seriously robbing myself of simple, delicious and nutritious meals by avoiding salads. Using my favorite kitchen tool in the world (The Inspiralizer), this recipe was complete in under 10 minutes with minimal dishes and it tasted phenomenal. I may be a bit more inclined to create some new salad recipes now. Do you have any requests or suggestions? If so, leave me a comment and let us know.
Apple Cranberry Salad with Maple Vinaigrette
So I have a couple of facts/suggestions to share about this apple cranberry salad and the maple vinaigrette dressing that elevates this salad to a whole new level:
- Don't use the whole red onion or your significant other won't kiss you for 2 days and you will sweat onion
- The dressing recipe makes a lot of dressing because I like drowning my salad so use it according to your taste buds
- I don't know how people live without the Inspiralizer. (This is not a paid endorsement, I seriously LOVE that thing)
- If you want to get your kids (Secretly yourself) eating more veggies, turn them all into noodles!
- I have found a renowned Passion for creating Videos and this is my favorite. PLEASE leave me a comment on the video or this post with your feedback. Words of encouragement, recipe requests, tips on future videos, and more are all appreciated!
How to Make Really Good Salads
One thing I have learned about food since going Paleo 6 years ago is that quality makes a huge difference. This includes all ingredients all the way down to the salt and pepper you use.
In my process of teaching myself how to cook, it became obvious that all the best chefs in the world always used simple ingredients. Only salt and pepper on their meats, simple dressings with 3 ingredients and nothing was ever hidden or covered in a sauce to hide crappy flavor like at most restaurants.
What does this have to do with salad? In order to love salad and make it delicious, you have to use quality ingredients both for your health and taste buds. Here are a few of my other recommendations on how to make really good salads which include some products I trust and love.
- Wash and dry the leaves thoroughly. Wet leaves or leaves covered in dirt won't taste good and the dressing won't stick.
- Don't forget to salt your dressing. Food at nice restaurants always taste great because chefs have heavy salt hands. Bonus Tip: use a flavored salt to step the salad up. There is only one salt allowed in our house, it's Real Salt and only Real Salt.
- Incorporate contrasting textures into your salad to please your palate. This salad uses soft apples, crunch onion and chewy fruit to accomplish this.
- Create balanced flavors by using different profiles: salty, sweet, acidic and bitter.
- Measure equal amounts of toppings. Don't be like restaurants that give you one slice of avocado for a whole salad. Ensure you can have all the yumminess on every bite.
- Add depth of flavor by enhancing ingredients. In this apple cranberry salad, I will toast the pecans in butter next time to give it that flare.
- ALWAYS make your own dressings. It's simple and the only Extra Virgin Olive Oil I use is from Kasandrinos. It is from a friends family farm in Greece and I occasionally just drink it.
Apple Cranberry Salad with Maple Vinaigrette
- 4 cups salad mix (or just spinach)
- 2 apples, stems removed
- 1/2 red onion, peeled
- 1 cup pecans, chopped
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- Prepare your apples and onion for the salad by spiralizing them with the blade of your choice. I used Blade C. (If you don't have a spiralizer, read the notes at the bottom)
- In a large bowl, add your salad mix, apples, onion, pecans, cranberries and toss well
- In a separate bowl, add your extra virgin olive oil, maple syrup, dijon mustard, salt & pepper and whisk until emulsified (around 20 seconds of whisking)
- Use this delicious dressing and pour onto your salad, toss the salad to coat everything and serve
- Garnish with a few extra pecans
A Spiralizer is not necessary for this recipe, but I HIGHLY recommend it for this recipe and life in general. There is only ONE reputable and trustworthy brand and that is Inspiralized. If you don't own one (sad face), buy one today and use a julienne peeler to make this recipe now.